小小老板炼成记
作者 : 未知

  做自己的老板,给自己打工,即便只是当个“卖甜玉米的小女孩”,这种感觉会是怎样的呢?且听下文中的这位小老板为你一一道来。
  Growing up in a subdivision1), I classified myself as a "city girl". I had very little knowledge about farming and rural areas, but all of that changed six years ago when we moved to a farm. Surrounded by cows and cornfields, I felt out of my element2). I was not accustomed to hundreds of acres of farmland separating me from my closest neighbor; however, I did enjoy the beauty and peace of the countryside.
  I had lived on the farm for about three years, and had helped with odd jobs like feeding cows. When I was old enough to get a real summer job, my father said I could choose between two options―getting a job at our local Dairy Queen3) or selling produce that I grew on our farm. While I came up with a short list of pros4) for working at the fast food restaurant, I found more advantages to selling produce. Shorter work weeks, more free time, flexible hours and the potential to make more money appealed to me. Yet I realized the numerous disadvantages to selling produce: responsibility for the success or failure of the operation, manual labor, early mornings and long days. Anyway, ultimately, I decided to start my own farming business.
  My father and I began planning in March. Together we chose three varieties of seeds, prepared the land and planted the first batch of sweet corn at the end of April. Throughout the spring, my father continued to plant sweet corn every two weeks as I rode in the tractor with him.
  Great care was taken over my growing cornstalks5). As the corn began to tassel6), we applied nitrogen7) fertilizer and sprayed pesticide to prevent worms. I watched the stalks grow taller, and as time passed, I dreamed about the money I would soon make. We planned to harvest and sell the corn at our local farmer's market with paid help from my friends. It sounded easy and looked good on paper8), but it worked out a little differently.
  Nonstop rain stunted9) the first batch of corn and delayed the harvest by a week or so. When my sweet corn was finally ready to pick, I found that a pack of raccoons10) had raided11) the field at night, ruining about half of it. How could this happen? Raccoons were supposed to be cute. We picked what was still good and prepared for market.
  This was it―my first day at market! I was excited to see my hard work finally pay off. I loaded my materials into the pickup truck12) and arrived early at the farmer's market to find a good spot for my tent and set up before the market opened. There were many customers and several other vendors. Probably because I was young and new, potential customers would look at me and smile, then head straight to my competition, Mrs. Cates, who had sold corn and other produce for years and had an established following13). At the end of the first day, about half of my corn was left, so I donated it to a local homeless shelter and went home disappointed.   Soon I noticed that Mrs. Cates and her crew did not arrive at the farmer's market until about 11 a.m. So I decided to show up an hour earlier. This meant that we had to start picking corn at 6 a.m., no easy task with teenage workers. But the effort paid off; I was selling half of my corn before Mrs. Cates arrived and most of it by the end of the day. Things were looking better. Not great, but better.
  Although the farmer's market was only open three days a week, the corn needed to be picked and sold daily because it would not keep. On days the farmer's market was not open, I developed a marketing plan that included personalized e-mails to family and friends. I also went to local businesses to sell corn and distribute business cards. Customers began calling, and I took orders over the phone. Before I knew it, I had a loyal following. I stayed busy by making weekly and sometimes daily deliveries to these businesses while maintaining my produce stand at the farmer's market. Then something wonderful happened.
  Mrs. Cates announced that she would be out of sweet corn for the next two weeks. For me, this was like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow . I knew that this was my opportunity to shine at the farmer's market, and I took advantage of it. I sold the majority of my sweet corn during this time, making more money than I ever had―as much as $400 a day. By the time my competition returned to the market with corn, the season was nearly over.
  I was satisfied with my success and have continued to sell produce grown on our farm for the past two summers. Each summer, I have been more successful than the year before. I am proud to be known around town as "the young girl selling sweet corn". I feel a sense of accomplishment when I see people bypass my competition and buy produce from me.
  Although many days I would rather have slept in or hung out with friends, I would not trade this experience for anything. My farming operation taught me how to work with people and gave me determination to never give up. I know these are lessons that will help me throughout life.
  在住宅小区里长大的我一度将自己归为“城市女孩”之列,对农活和乡村地区知之甚少,但这一切都在六年前我们搬去一个农场之后发生了改变。我置身一头头奶牛和一片片玉米田之中,感到与这里格格不入。我与最近的邻居之间也隔着数百英亩(编注:1英亩约合4047平方米)的农田,对此我很不适应。不过,我倒是的确很享受乡村的美丽与安宁。
  我在这个农场里生活了三年左右的时光,也帮忙干了一些诸如喂奶牛这样的杂活儿。等到我长大了,可以找份真正的暑期工作时,爸爸说我有两个选择:要么在我们当地的冰雪皇后店里打工,要么去卖我在自家农场种出的农产品。虽然我列出了一张在快餐店工作有什么好处的简短清单,我还是发现卖农产品的好处更多:每周工作时长更短、有更多的空闲、工作时间有弹性,还有可能赚到更多的钱。这些都吸引着我。不过,我也意识到卖农产品有诸多不好的地方:对经营成败要承担责任、要从事体力劳动、早上要早起、白天要干很长时间的活儿。不过最终,我还是决定要开启我自己的农场生意。

文秘写作 期刊发表